Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Step 4: Truth

I am excited to start Step 4: Truth.

"When you took step 3, you decided to trust the Lord. You turned your will and your life over to His care. In step 4, you show your willingness to trust God. You make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of your life, surveying or summarizing the thoughts, events, emotions, and actions of your life, making your inventory as complete as possible."

This is the step that many people get hung up on. You might be tempted to skip it and try to continue your recovery without doing the inventory, but you can't. You won't be able to heal or recover in the way that you could without this step.

Why is this step so crucial? Because it's the action part of step 3. Like it says in that opening paragraph to this step, in step 4, you show your willingness to trust God. You are acting on what you learned about trust and what you developed inside your heart.

Step 4 is scary to many people, and that is normal. Don't think you are a failure because you can't do this inventory fearlessly. "Fearless" in this sense means that you don't let your fears hold you back. You are scared, but you jump right in anyway. It's having courage.

The first time I worked the steps, when I approached step 4, I hesitated. I was scared, like many others before me. I was scared of opening myself up. As you have probably realized, I have put lots of blame on my husband. I shy away from owning the negatives. I like to place the blame on others because I want to be perfect. I did not want to do an inventory for a couple of reasons. One was that I didn't want to even try to find what was wrong with me. I also didn't want to relive things in my past that I had repented of (or had been trying to forget about).

Here's part of the problem. I had a really negative perception of this step because I had heard scary things about it. Granted, I had heard many testimonies of the blessings of pushing through this step, but holy cow there are so many scary things about it. Don't forget, this is a moral inventory. DO NOT just write about the bad things in your life. That's not who you are. Write about the good and the bad (I wrote about the bad first and the good second so I could pick myself back up and remember how awesome I am ;) haha).

Choosing to do step 4 was one of the best decisions I could make in the recovery process. Step 4 opened so many doors for me. The biggest things were that it allowed me to see how much I needed the Atonement and that it's not just my husband who needs to repent. And it really was the only way that I could truly open myself up to God and say, yeah, I trust you. Searching within yourself is a scary concept. But doing it showed me just how truly dependent I am on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It also truly freed me from my past, for both the things I have repented of and things I have not repented of.

Step 4 allowed me to see who I have been, who I am, and who I have the potential to become with the Lord's help.

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